The Role of Social Economy in Promoting Social Investment

Social enterprises play an important role in tackling societal challenges. Their numbers have grown significantly over recent years, becoming a strong engine of social innovation in the EU. This trend is confirmed by results of the JRC-led IESI project, which supports the implementation of the EU Social Investment Package through the analysis of ICT-Enabled Social Innovation initiatives in Member States.

This issue of the ‘JRC Insights’ presents results from the study of these initiatives, assessed against the three main objectives of the Social Investment Package: implementing active inclusion strategies, investing in individuals throughout their lives and modernizing social protection systems.

Evidence gathered shows that social enterprises are crucial in realising these policy goals. Their capacity to identify emerging or unmet needs, engage stakeholders and turn their governance model into a sustainable production process makes them particularly apt to contribute to social investment approaches.

Social enterprises are the most innovative forms of social economy and their action tends to be flexible and responsive, thanks to their capacity to involve users and understand their needs. Their governance structures, their roots in local communities, and the fact that they are often multi-stakeholder partnerships contribute to greater social innovation.

Nevertheless, more comprehensive socio-economic impact evaluations are required to understand what initiatives could and should be fostered and scaled-up.

For more information please contact Fiorenza Lipparini.

Full article here (pdf).

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